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Ampeg PF500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by steveo33, Jun 25, 2018.


  1. steveo33

    steveo33

    Nov 11, 2009
    Cleveland, OH
    Ampeg brothers:

    During our last practice, my PF500 started to get that about to fry smell ,and started to cut out. I’m running with a GK NEO 410 cab, volume & gain each about 1:00 to be heard among the guitars. Fan was running and after a little time out, it seemed ok. I can’t imagine one o’clock on the dials could be pushing it that hard; time to be concerned??
     
  2. How old is the amp, and how long have you had it?
     
  3. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Are you sure it’s not your speakers? I notice smell and cutting out from my speakers before they let go.
    Any amp I’ve had issues with let’s out sparks/smoke and just doesn’t work anymore.
     
  4. steveo33

    steveo33

    Nov 11, 2009
    Cleveland, OH
    Rig is 3 years old, both head & cab
     
  5. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    PF500 has a history of dying.

    But its good time cover basics check cables and cabinet.

    Otherwise after 3 years might be alot of dust building up in there. Check fan for obstructions/ dust and see if heatsink and chassis vents are clogged.
     
    shoot-r likes this.
  6. The PF500 I owned would regularly go into protection mode and cut out at higher volumes into a 4 ohm cabinet. Never smelled funky though. I sold it cheap locally, disclosing the issue to the buyer.
     
  7. MothBox

    MothBox

    Oct 25, 2010
    As appose to starting a new thread I'm posting my issue here in the hope that there is some help.

    I've had my PF500 since 2015, run through a PF115HE and have used it as a practice amp mainly with no problems.

    Recently I started using it in the practice room and initially had no issues however, the past couple of practices it has cut out with the fault light on.

    If I turn it on and off nothing changes. If I unplug it from the wall and leave it for a minute then switch it all back on it comes on like nothing has happened.

    Initially I thought I could be over driving it, although the clipping light doesn't flash, so I turned that down, but the same thing happened again.

    This is occuring once or twice in a 2 hour practice with the drive around 11 and the volume around 12 o'clock.

    Has anyone experienced anything similar and found a reason?

    I've done some searches and there have been a few problems posted with this amp head. Not sure if I'm suffering the same thing or if it's something easier to fix.

    I'm going to change the power lead and the speaker cable to see if that makes any difference. I will also try the ground lift. Basically just token gestures in the hope its nothing internal.
     
  8. I have been through this with my old PF500 and so have many others. The general feeling is that the reliability issues have been ironed out over the last several years but maybe not so much. I got rid of mine--total loss--bought a Peavey Minimax and haven't looked back.
     
  9. MothBox

    MothBox

    Oct 25, 2010
    I contacted Ampeg. My amp was built in 2014 so may suffer a known problem. I now need to find an amp tech to take a look and assess whether or not its worth having it repaired.
     
  10. MothBox

    MothBox

    Oct 25, 2010
    After receiving some prices from local tech's and the cost of the board to fit myself I've decided to buy a new amp - the Peavy Minimax. Was put onto it following the post above and following some research and the price I reckon it fits the bill. The costs were beginning to look like almost the same price as the minimax.

    I'm a bit ticked off with the Ampeg though. The problem is likely (although not definitely) relating to an inherent problem with the mainboard. This isn't a failure due to wear and tear or due to damage, its a problem that Ampeg but there. Yet, the replacement is at my cost. I know its out of warranty but this is beyond warranty, its an actual product fault.

    I'm in Australia so have to pay for the board plus shipping and a 6 week lead time (according to the Ampeg vender here).

    I'm really ticked off. I absolutely loved that amp. Up until now I've had nothing but good things to say.
     
  11. steveo33

    steveo33

    Nov 11, 2009
    Cleveland, OH
    It stinks. I get just to a point where I have a nice tone & volume to keep up with the guitars (vol just shy of 2 o’clock, gain @12), and I get the frying circuit smell. Maybe a bass boost pedal may help?
     
  12. steveo33

    steveo33

    Nov 11, 2009
    Cleveland, OH
    No clip light coming on either
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think it's a good time to mention that Yamaha bought Ampeg in May :D New product made by Yamaha isn't out yet but they're working on it.
     
  14. steveo33

    steveo33

    Nov 11, 2009
    Cleveland, OH
    J, you’re a total PF guy, you’ve had no issues when going above noon on the volume(s)? I think I’ve had this one for 5 years now
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't have the PF500, only the 350 and 800. The only problem I've had is that my first 350 got knocked off a cab at a show and it took a hard fall and broke. Other than that, all of the newer Ampeg gear I've got has been good.
     
  16. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Don't dump the amp. Get it fixed, especially if you love it. Once fixed, you'll probably get years of use out of it. I bought a Peavey MiniMax and returned it. Didn't like the tone at all. Not like the old Peavey USA made amps. Peavey in all their wisdom changed their trademark sound to something "more modern" and in the process lost all the character that many bass players for decades knew and loved. Minimax is not for me.
     
  17. gottliver

    gottliver

    Dec 20, 2004
    There tone may have changed, but in 32 years of playing bass, I've never heard anyone say they loved the tone of a Peavey bass amp!! We bought em because the were durable (I've owned a few, still do), reasonably good value and made in the USA. Great tone? Nope.
     
    username1 and brianmharrison like this.
  18. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    Road my pf800 hard on a recent hot n humid outdoor gig. Played the highest volume so far and at the end of the gig the amp was as cool as if it wasn’t even turned on. Never once did it flinch. Same with outdoor fevivals last year.

    Sorry to hear about your issue. I would be furious if any amp would shut down during a performance. The second time would be the last.
     
  19. MothBox

    MothBox

    Oct 25, 2010
    I have to admit I am conflicted. The MiniMax arrived today but I won't get home to pick it up before practice which is a shame. The cost of the repair to the PF500 is what has put me off. If those replacement boards were sold a little cheaper (remembering that they fix a fault Ampeg created, not the user) it would be no-brainer.

    I reckon I'll sit on the amp for a while and see if there's anything secondhand going in the local market. I may be able to pickup a newer PF500 in the local market thats going cheaper second hand (thinking cosmetic damage or a non-motherboard fault) and switch the board out into mine.
     
  20. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    There are probably TB'ers who have resources to get that board for you. I'll ask around for you. Even if it isn't fair to have to buy another board, in the end, you'll have the sound you love.
     

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